1. The intolerable sensation that each one of us felt at the news of the killing of Baader, Ensslin and Raspe and the attempted elimination of Moeller, is the piercing stab in that part of us that recognises itself in these women and men, and recognises and admires in them individuals who, in the immediate, can no longer tolerate the present state of affairs. On the other hand, the claim of the Rote Armee Fraktion to educate the masses by example and organise their revolutonary struggle as a vanguard, has always rendered their perspective quite extraneous and absolutely opposed to ours.
2. The indignation that we shouted in the streets against the demented butchers that unleashed their fury on Gudrun, Jan Carl, Andreas and Irmgard is new fuel for the fires that are burning and will burn inside and around us. It means greater determination and energy in our struggle of all times against capital: the only specific help that we can give the German comrades, as to the South African or Ecuadorian, is that of struggling all the more resolutely against Italian capitalism and its specific democratic forms of power.
3. The killing of the members of the RAF in the prison of Stammheim tells us nothing that was not clear from the day that UIrike Meinhof was assassinated: the protest of intellectuals and democrats (among whom reactionaries such as Trombadori) simply reveal the bad faith of who, waving the scarecrows of Germany and Germanisation, want to cover up the shame of their own house. Without too much scandal, for a long time in Italy “terrorists” are finished off at their place of capture; the “State born from the resistence” thus avoids processual or custodial complications and mistakes such as that which saved the life of Irmgard Moeller.
But, Italian democracy is also in the vanguard in suicides: Pinelli flew down from the window of Milan police headquarters shouting “Anarchy is finished!” already eight years before left-handed Baader contrived his “left-handed shooting” against the German State, shooting himself with a shot in the nape of the neck with a pistol eighteen centimetres long held in his right hand.
4. The inextinguishable hatred that we swear against the State assassins and the even deeper, if possible, disgust that we feel for their democratic opposers, be they Italian or German, does not prevent us however from criticising and rejecting the perspectives and logic of the RAF and groups like it, because it is useless and extraneous to the revolutionary process in course. The RAF showed they believe in the spectacle of hierarchy when they kidnapped Schleyer, head of the German industrialists; they think they are striking the maximum holder of real power, and even believe the gross lie of democratic humanitarianism when they hijack a plane, as though a hundred or so human lives counted anything for the machine-capital and its servants. The Monster-automata of Marx is just as indifferent to the sort of its followers as it is to that of its enemies. Before the propagandistic tempest made possible by the long negotiations for the exchange of Schleyer with the RAF prisoners, the death of the hostages of Mogadiscio would have been a real tocsan for humanitarian German democracy. Reflexes of the image of revolution that capital itself projects, “revolutionary” terrorism stages a series of armed conflicts between human beings, individuals and organisations, reproducing, under the appearance of the class struggle, the permanent concorrential war between the fractions of capital.
This mystification reaches the point of realizing the smear that capital is opposing to the revolution when it depicts it as the war of small groups against the whole of civil and democratic society.
The real war, the real class struggle, remains elusive for the actors of the guerrilla war between terrorist groups and special forces. Clandestine to the spectacle, the communist proletariat combats, anonimously, the Monster-automa, impersonal and anonymous concretization of death that devours life to the point of destructively opposing itself to the human species as a whole.
5. In Italy clandestine organisations such as the Brigate Rosse are revealing their substantial estraneity to the class struggle in act, and their incomprehension of the real terms of the questions, also military, that the subversive movement must today pose itself, repeating, in a now demential way, the scene of the laming of the servants of capital (chosen from the ranks of the right hostile to the P.C.I. and often among those that occupy the lowest steps in the hierarchies of the spectacle) and criticise, as “adventurists” and “spontaneists”, the manifestations and organisational forms, still in embrion, of the nascent revolutionary movement. Considering more or less openly to have been the instigators, the clandestine groups do not recognise the most relevant characteristics of the subversive movement that exists today in Italy: its profound antireformist character and the mass dimension of its illegal and violent practices. In this way the armed organisations do not even grasp the terms of the strictly military questions that the revolutionary movement is posing itself today, organising its own forms of self-defence and attack on a territorial basis and on a mass scale. It is not a question of forming commandos capable of rivaling the secret services in efficiency or of kidnapping the president of the industrialists, but of contributing to acting in such a way that all those who are involved in the revolutionary process know how to express, as autonomous subjects, their own destructive power.
6. The massacre of the militants of the RAF also provoked the hypocritical protestations of reformist groups such as Lotta Continua, Democrazia Proletaria and Movimento Lavoratori per il Socialismo, long involved in repressive brutality and systematic snitching against revolutionaries and militants of clandestine or armed organisations. Suddenly ousted from their positions of power by the winds of February (apart from situations such as that of Milan where a group like Movimento Lavoratori per il Socialismo can still carry on with its odious aggressions undisturbed) these zombies have, like Democrazia Proletaria, either become clandestine to the situations of struggle, or, those with a better sense of timing, have “disbanded” into the so-called movement, like Lotta Continua. The only “political” argument that they have left against revolutionary insurgence is their personal fear of repression or the violence of the State apparatus (cfr.the attempt of Lotta Continua and Radio Città Futura to sabotage the Rome demonstration against the German embassy). In order to condemn revolutionary violence these wretches are trying today to appropriate the oddments of radical critique of armed struggle; ex-revolutionaries who, poisoned by their scepticism or cynism, are supplying consciously, i.e. in bad faith, arms to recuperate revolutionary theory, we know that with them we will be particularly severe. Just as reality in movement has been severe when it cancelled the mao-dadaista “creative autonomia” (A/traverso e derivati) when, at the Bologna meeting against repression, it was unable to conceal its complicity with Lotta Continua, to which the P.C.I. had, following open negotiations, entrusted the control of the city during the three days of the encounter. But the fear that the modernists and the re-established militants of Lotta Continua and Democrazia Proletaria are complaining about cheers us up. It is easy to recognise: it is the fear of revolutionary insurgency, the fear that gives the real approach of the revolution to those who believed they could continue indefinitely to trifle away their time with its image in the chaste and spotless manner of ideology.
(from “Insurrezione” October 1977
translated from ‘Parafulmine e controfigure’, ed. Anarchismo)